Category Archives: Geocaching

Santa Cruz weekend: Redwoods and the Boardwalk

Quality Inn & Suites Santa Cruz Mountains

Sunday was Katie and Matt’s wedding in Ben Lomond. To make a weekend out of it, gem and I decided to spend Friday through Monday in Northern California. After a late start on Friday, I drove to Ben Lomond in Santa Cruz County. Here’s a photo of our hotel, the Quality Inn & Suites Santa Cruz Mountains. The drive was relatively uneventful but fun given that I enjoy talking! We didn’t actually reach the hotel until about 11 o’clock, so this photo is from Saturday morning. It was quite beautiful. Unfortunately, there was an odd smell that caused us to keep our clothes in the car, but let’s not dwell on the negative.


Saturday morning we went to the Henry Cowell Redwood State Park for a hike. It was absolutely gorgeous! Southern Californian hikes are terrible by comparison.


It was about 10 when we got there, which felt like a late start. It wasn’t really. I’m just used to hiking in direct sunlight down here. It wasn’t hot at all, and I probably didn’t even need sunblock.


gem and I discussed wanting to see wildlife, and when we heard a train, our conversation segued into the idea of “wild trains” being native to the Santa Cruz area. You see, they spend their whole lives growing tracks and migrating across the lands. When they die, their offspring can use the tracks grown by the previous generations.


Look what else we found while hiking! What could that be?


It was a geocache! I fail at geocaching most of the time, so I was pretty happy to find this one in a tree stump.


gem and I signed the log.


After hiking, we went to the Best Western Plus Inn in Scotts Valley to meet with Marc and one of his friends. He drove us to the beach to meet his other friends, only running one red on the way. Okay, he caught it half way into the intersection and backed up. No harm done.

By the time we got to the beach, his friends were leaving to go back to the hotel. We walked around a little in attempt to get to the lighthouse, but after realizing we were on the wrong side of something, we just decided to leave.

Sea lions!

We headed toward to Santa Cruz Boardwalk and strolled along the wharf after getting some delicious ice cream. Looking down through the pier, we saw some adorable sea lions! They were pretty cute. One kept trying to jump out of the water but couldn’t quite make it.

matt & katie's wedding

As the time approached that Matt and Katie were going to arrive at the hotel, we went back to meet with them and the rest of their friends. Here I am holding Katie’s wedding dress trying with all my might not to drop the dress. It wasn’t heavy or anything, but I couldn’t help but think about how horrible it would be if something were to happen. Everything was fine though!

matt & katie's wedding

We all went back to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Anela had recommended we check it out, and I know I went there as a kid but don’t really remember it. I’m glad Matt wanted to go; it was a lot of fun. I love taking pictures of colored lights, fairs, and the like, but for some reason I didn’t really take any pictures. I guess I was too busy having fun and meeting new people. Their friends are super awesome! gem did get this picture of me in line for the Giant Dipper rollercoaster though!

Matt and Katie

We ended the night at the arcade. How did the happy couple spend their last evening before getting married? They played some classic arcade games obviously.


After some air hockey, gem and I played Tetris against each other. I’d never played this version. She kicked my butt. I also played some Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man, my favorites!

matt & katie's wedding

Last year gem and I met with Katie, Matt, and Marc for the first time while we were in San Francisco. We took a few photos, but none turned out well. This time we had much better luck! From left to right that’s gem, Marc, me, Matt, and Katie. It was so, so good seeing them. My eyes are about to tear up just thinking about the wedding, and I wasn’t even planning on talking about the wedding itself until the next post.

You can view more photos in my Flickr album aptly named Matt and Katie’s Wedding.

You can read about the wedding itself here: Santa Cruz weekend: Matt and Katie’s wedding!

First Time Geocaching

Today I went with geocaching for the first time! For those of you that don’t know, geocaching is like GPS treasure hunting. You take coordinates for a known geocache that someone else has placed and set off to find it. Usually, there’s a small description or hint. Once you reach the GPS coordinates, the goal is to find the geocache, some sort of small container, and sign the log located inside. In some, there might be small goodies that you’re encouraged to exchange. There also might be a special bonus for the person who’s the FTF – the first to find.
gem surprised me with our first hunt near my house. Unfortunately, we didn’t succeed. We’re fairly confident it was missing. We reached the coordinates but only found old duct tape. Our guess is that the geocache had been removed, but maybe we just missed it and the duct tape was unrelated. While we were at the location, we looked at some very cool houses and found a sidewalk near our house that we didn’t know existed. It goes through a tunnel under the street. It was pretty cool.
Laster, at Jessica’s house, we tried again. Again, we failed. Like our first attempt, we found what we think are remnants – velcro attached to a lamppost, but nothing velcro’d to it. From the geocache description, we learned that it was created by a couple for their grandchildren. Cute!
We didn’t want to keep failing, so we tried for another. It wasn’t too far from our last attempt, but this one turned out a lot better. We managed to find the small canister with a log, a dime, and a penny with the shape of an angel cut out of it. We forgot a pen, so we went inside a nearby store to sign the log. Finally, a success!
Excited from our victory, we tried for another. Sadly, we had another failure. We got to the location only to find heavy shrubbery and palm trees. Unlike the other failures, we found no remnants. Was it missing? Were the coordinates a little off? Were we just dumb? I have no idea. Sadly, this one actually seemed the most interesting. It was part of a geocache series called “Around the World in 80 Days,” I think. Inside the geocache were supposedly hints toward another geocache. Maybe we’ll go back sometime to try again.
For our first day, one out of four wasn’t bad I suppose! It’s definitely a fun activity, and I could see taking it up as a hobby. Maybe we’ll try geohashing sometime!